As Omicron variant torments healthcare, UK looks to hire foreign workers by relaxing visa rules

To meet the shortages in healthcare sector, the UK government is looking to hire numerous care workers from abroad.   

The development comes as the country is witnessing a huge spike in the number of the coronavirus cases due to the spread of Omicron variant. It has put immense pressure on the healthcare sector.  

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Several foreign social care workers, care assistants and home care workers may become eligible for a UK Health and Care Visa for a year.    

The move comes after the recommendation of the UK’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC). It had asked to make care workers and home carers eligible for the Health and Care Visa and also add the occupation to the Shortage Occupation List (SOL).   

Also Read: As Omicron cases surge, 1.7 million people in the UK had Covid last week

“The care sector is experiencing unprecedented challenges prompted by the pandemic and the changes we’ve made to the health and care visa will bolster the workforce and helping alleviate some of the pressures currently being experienced,” Home Secretary Priti Patel said.  

“This is our New Plan for Immigration in action, delivering our commitment to support the NHS and the wider health and care sector by making it easier for health professionals to live and work in the UK,” Patel added.  

These temporary measures may come into effect by early next year.   

(With inputs from agencies) 

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